Bullying Resolution Services is a new venture of Nancy Willard, M.S., J.D., director of Embrace Civility in the Digital Age, as a way to help parents achieve an effective resolution of the more serious or chronic situations where your child is being repeatedly bullied or harassed, the response by the school has not been effective in resolving the situation!
A New Pathway to a Resolution
While many parents and students become frustrated with the response of the principal when serious or chronic situations are reported, too often they may think that nothing more can be done or they do not know how to proceed. Depending on your child’s “status,” there are four possible paths:
- If your child has disabilities and is on an IEP or 504 Plan, the school is required to address this in an IEP or 504 meeting.
- If your child is within a protected class–race, religion, national origin, sexual minority or orientation, disabilities–this constitutes discriminatory harassment under civil rights laws.
- If your child is experiencing sexual harassment, this constitutes a violation of Title IX.
- In all of the above situations–and for any other student who does not fit into one of these categories–it is possible to file a complaint at the district level under Oregon’s bullying prevention statute.
In all except the last situation is present, it is possible to appeal a complaint made at the district level with the Oregon Department of Education. I am going to seek to make changes in Oregon’s bullying prevention statute next legislative session so that an appeal from a district level complaint can be made for these students.
(Note: I am using the term “parent” for anyone who is in a parenting capacity.)
These Bullying Resolution Services have been created to support parents whose children are being bullied or harassed in more serious or chronic situations.
To start, I would like to hold a short, no-cost telephone conversation with you. It is my intent to do this pre-screening to determine whether your situation is at a point where my services will be of assistance to you.
Please contact me at email@example.com to arrange for this initial conversation.
After this, I will provide directions to a private web page that will provide you with more guidance. The first step is something you can take on your own. Following an analysis of the school response to this step, we can plan future steps. I will provide access to this private web page, guidance on the initial step, and analysis of the school response at no charge. However, a donation would be gratefully appreciated.
Beyond this, I will charge $50 per hour for advocacy services. If money is a concern, we can discuss options. I do not want lack of money to be a barrier to efforts to stop the bullying or harassment of your child.
It is my strong desire to provide services for parents of children with disabilities.
My approach to resolution is positively supportive of all students—including those who are being hurtful who may also require better intervention and support. I will seek to help you to require that the school implement positive strategies that support all involved students.
While I cannot guarantee positive results, I am committed to working passionately to address the concerns faced by your child. I will also provide guidance on how to proceed if initial efforts are not successful.
The following documents set forth my background and expertise:
- My professional resume.
- Testimonials from bullying prevention professionals.
- Endorsements from attorneys I have worked with.
- December 2017 Register Guard commentary, A Plan to Address Bullying.
- January 2017 Register Guard commentary, The Bully Myth.
- March 2017 Register Guard commentary, In a world of bullies, kids need help (Note, I would not have chosen this title).
- September, 2018 Register Guard Commentary. Are Our Students Safe? What the data say.
- Positive Parenting
You can also review the other resources on my site to see that I am indeed focused on supporting schools in implementing research-based strategies that will better support all students in fostering positive relations and responding effectively when hurtful incidents do occur.
I would much rather work directly with schools, but I can’t seem to find a way to get through their “brick walls.” Other experts nationally are having the same problem.
Lay Advocate ~ Not Legal Services
A well-known practice within the special education field is known as Parent Advocates. I am seeking to serve as an Advocate for parents to address concerns of bullying or harassment of their child. I have not found anyone who has tried to do this, so this is a new venture.
While I am a former attorney, I no longer practice law. I do sometimes work as a trial consultant for other attorneys.
The services I offer are not legal services. While I understand the regulatory requirements under IDEA and the civil rights laws, the primary focus of my guidance will be grounded in effective bullying prevention practices—not legal requirements. If I identify a situation where it would be advisable for a parent to consult with an attorney, I will make an appropriate referral.
Services for Schools or Districts
Oregon school leaders can also request assistance in responding to chronic bullying and harassment situations through investigation, mediation, a restorative conference, or assisting in an IEP/504 meeting in a situation where a student with disabilities is being bullied or engaging in bullying.
I truly believe Oregon’s school leaders and staff do not want to see bullying and harassment occurring in school or online, want to respond effectively, and want all students to feel safe, happy, and successful in school. If a school asks for my assistance for a specific situation, I will seek to engage in coaching to assist key staff in gaining the insight and skills into how they can respond to other situations.
Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.